Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Five Things Meme by Chloe & Bella


Kate invited me to participate in a Five Things Meme for pets. Her big, brown, beautiful dog, Lytton enjoyed his meme. I thought, now that’s a challenge for me! Interviewing your pet is much more difficult and interesting than arranging a post on Random Facts About Me which would rank high on the boring scale.

So if you are ready for silliness, brace yourself and read on. If not, click on your back button. Don’t think for a minute that the three of us don’t communicate, verbally. We speak to each other and communicate well through eye contact, body language, and tone of voice. I modified this meme and didn't list “five things” in each category to save time and reading. Here’s the result from some improvising on my part. An interview with two Boston Terriers…



When you sing Looney Tunes cartoon jingle and throw our little Air Dogs at the s-s-same time. I swoon when you sing Beautiful by Christina Aguilera to me and rub my b-b-belly.


Lady in Red. When you sing Witchy Woman, I feel evil. If I hear you sing the Wicked Witch of the West bicycle jingle, I get excited and run like the wind.



Hulie Hoops,


little queaky tennis balls, and my p-p-pink piggy.


And Hulie Hoops. I have a lot of Hulie Hoops.



Rawhide chewies when you put cheese in them and real, expensive golf balls. I like to decapitate Bella’s pink piggy when she annoys me.



Cookies, cheese, and Jello with fat-free Cool Whip on top. Daddy shares it with me. Don't like pretzels.


Cheese, lunch meat, red clay, ice cream, and a taste of dinner, even when you serve green beans and garlic. Hate pretzels.


October 20 - 6


Running, l-l-licking my feet, eating, scratching my back on the carpet, sleeping, and sitting on my Daddy’s lap every day.


And I like to watch you c-c-cooking in the kitchen when I sit on the top of the couch, even if you holler at me to get d-d-down.

I like when Chloe plays with me and lets me chew on her skinny n-n-neck.


When I run in the rain and get wet and c-c-cold you cover me. I feel warm and cozy.



Investigating and hunting is my forte. I am very proficient in the sports. I excel in agility. Would you like to know my IQ? I'll gladly look it up for you.


I hate the vacuum cleaner and will enjoy attacking it until the day I die.


Taking naps in the sun, watching cartoons and commercials, and cuddling against your neck and back at night, under the covers. I like when you let me share your pillow and snore in your ear, even when my feet smell like popcorn and I let gas pass. When I heave a big sigh, you do, too. Then we sleep.



I don’t h-h-have any. I’m a angel. (Ahem…)


You, silly woman, say I beg, steal,


tease, refuse to obey,


Are you talking to me? Just give me a few more minutes. Calm down.

dig too many holes, and I’m irritating as hell. I’m not irritating. You just say that because you are jealous of me. You really think I’m amusing because I’m smarter than you. Come closer, hold still, and let me lick that spot off your eyeglasses. By the way, I love you.


Bella chimes in: I love you more! Let me wash your f-f-face because


I’m your angel.

Do you want to interview your pet(s)? I invite you. Let's hear about it. Silly or not. ;o)

Sunday, January 27, 2008

A few minutes with Cedar Waxwings


I like the look of birch bark until it reminds me of my skin, magnified.

Last Wednesday we had a break from the wind and sub-freezing temps. Before dinnertime, I casually strolled through the yard for a while, looking for something eye-pleasing to photograph. Feeling desperate, in a way…

It was a day when one feels life is caving in at every angle.


Dull, brown Crepe Myrtle pods made for a nice photo but they didn’t lift me much. Maybe if a Goldfinch had landed...

I wondered when I’d ever be able to bring out the garden hose to wash the dirt from the windows, deck, and rocking chairs on the front porch. Everything outside has been so dirty for so long... The water restrictions are still in force, dammit, and I need to use soap and a garden hose! We’re very dry, still.

I wondered if I will be able to plant new this spring to entertain the butterflies and hummingbirds.


I wondered when I’d be able to wash the pond filter without feeling my fingers might freeze and crack off. Ooops.


I wondered what will make him STOP. He’s still guarding feeder stations and I haven’t seen my nuthatches or woodpeckers in over a week.

There’s nothing major going on to cause me worry. I let all the small, nagging stuff get the best of me.


Thank you, Chickadee. You’re a brave, tiny bird.

Tied to the kitchen during these short evenings, rushing to tend to the bird feeders and exercising Chloe and Bella, made me feel real sorry for myself. There were two loads of laundry waiting for me. And I remembered that I need to schedule a day off from work to clean hardwood. My office job is too busy right now and I’m not enjoying it one bit, either. Woe was me.


At 5pm, the birds line up on the fence. I thought if anyone had a pair of Cardinals, they must have ten more. Yes, I do have at least fifteen pairs. Cardinal red is definitely a bright spot on my small landscape but it wasn’t enough to put me in a decent mood on this particular day. No way.


Their feeders were empty. How would you like to have thirty Mourning Doves show up for dinner and a splash in the pond? It’s their ritual and one which I welcome, actually, but they never let me near. They prefer private spas.

The evening shadows were chilling as I lifted the collar on my coat but the sky was still bright blue. When I looked to the northern sky, just before heading back inside, I saw what looked like an army of small fighter planes with bright yellow undersides, flying very low, in close formation over the pond. I froze in my tracks and watched their landing for a moment before I raised the camera. Yeah, I smiled.


In a weeping willow high on a hill, beyond my back fence, the setting sun highlighted their shades of pastel yellow and golden brown so nicely.


I wanted to see their bright red and yellow waxy wing tips and hoped my Kodak zoom would help me.

Is there a bird more glamorous than a Cedar Waxwing?


They didn’t arrive here to eat. I don’t have their fruit. Not yet. They rested for a few minutes.


Ahhhh. Smooth and sleek. Painted birds, all dressed up. Getting ready for an early evening around the town.

I watched from inside to see if they would land on the pond like a few did a while back, but as soon as I stepped inside, they fled.

Now see? What if I had not taken my bad mood on a little nature walk in the back yard? I would have been crabby all night. A flock of Cedar Waxwings saved my day and everything was alright. Thank you.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Boston Terrier Sisters


There was a snowfall on Saturday. Didn’t amount to much but it was so pretty while it fell. Twenty pairs of Cardinals waited for me to serve dinner.


Shades of red adorned the trees and feeders like Christmas decorations.


Chloe, being the oldest, pees first while Bella waits for her turn. After Bella pees, Chloe goes back to the spot to cancel it out.


Approaching twelve years old, Chloe’s eyesight is compromised and her thin body can’t take the cold anymore. She’s always ready to be inside near the fireplace.

Memories of Chloe’s younger days enter my mind every day. Her puppyhood precedes my digital photography or I would show her beautiful youth. What a gal. The girl who was bionic is slowing down.

I’m too tired for many words tonight but I want to share a few of the 250,000 photos I have taken of Chloe and Bella since the winter of 2003 in Delaware.


Chloe, the “only dog” for seven years, wasn’t sure she wanted to share toys and pizza crusts with a gassy pup.


She thought about the intruder often

and decided Bella wasn’t too bad, after all. They shared rays of sun.


Bella at six months. Want a Boston puppy? E-mail me and I'll set you up with the best breeder on the east coast. I’d have ten more if I had the room. You would have an overload of laughter, sweet puppy breath, and kisses.


Every evening after dinner, they played until they passed out. And they shared toys and food. Always.

Bella immediately became Chloe’s shadow, and still is.


Dog sisters. Partners in crime, most of the time.

She has enjoyed a blizzard and at least ten major snow storms. Now, in the corner of her warm sofa, she can only dream of chasing bunnies and squirrels through powdery snow drifts, and me, ready to dry her with a warm towel, right out of the dryer.

Monday, January 21, 2008

The Mockingbird with OCD


Today at 5:00 p.m.
Fill the dish and the cups, woman.

He (or she) is mighty angry. Someone refused to offer Zick dough this morning. It had to be done.

Sunday at 10:00 a.m.
I’m getting low on the dough.

When the temperatures are in the twenties, I expect to see over one hundred birds at the feeders, draining them by late afternoon. Not yesterday. He was in charge.

Sunday at 1:00 p.m.
The Zick dough is mine. It's all mine.

When Mocker likes something, he really likes it. Other birds were not allowed near the feeder stations or on the ground. He not only guarded the Zick dough, he guarded everything else edible. I had a male Ruby-Throated Hummingbird that carried on the same way last summer for seven straight hours.

Sunday at 3:30 p.m.
Why are you looking at me? Put the damned camera away and fill the dish and the cup.

I was looking at the lone bird at the feeders. All others waited in nearby trees and took chances at a few seeds, only to be attacked by the large bully. He even managed to fend off Starlings and when he attacked poor Bella, who doesn’t have a clue about birds, the movie title “To Kill a Mockingbird” entered my mind…

I’d like nothing better than to serve the dough to all of the birds who love it so much, but this bully needs an attitude adjustment for a few days. Jayne has wonderful birds that flutter merrily around her head and probably land on her shoulders while she serves them treats. They’re such sweet birds. Newcomers show up often at her house. Then there are Mary’s birds, which fight and defecate all over the place. I need to move to the country.

Disgusted with the back yard, I hit the road today. With respect to Dr. Martin Luther King, I had the day off. I’m not a self-indulgent person but I really enjoyed my first deluxe pedicure today with Gina sitting next to me! Ahhh…it was heaven! We had our nails done, too, then lunch and a little shopping followed. Two hours of pampering does a girl good and I can’t wait to admire my feet tonight.

For the men out there, take advantage of a pedicure. When I lived in Delaware I visited a nail salon regularly and watched the male athletes from Delaware State indulge on Saturday mornings before a big game.

Before I met Gina today, I stopped by two partially frozen ponds.

It’s been a long time since I’ve seen birds walking on water.

Saw a male Canvasback! Lifer. Check.

Three days earlier, forgive me…

I hope the Stinker filled his belly before the freeze. (and avoid a visit to my half-frozen pond)



A heron in flight at the wrong angle. I’m trying.

It’s tough to get a National Geographic type photo because I am watching the bird while losing concentration on the camera. Having a camera with a burst mode would be very nice.


Come on, raspberries and Spring!

…and more pedicures.

Friday, January 18, 2008

Snow! and the New Recruits


While I was dreaming of snow on Wednesday night, it snowed. Dang. I missed seeing it fall softly and hearing the sound of tiny ice crystals tickling the windows. A child I am, at heart.

All of the school districts, colleges and universities closed on Thursday morning – except for my college. Although I was disappointed with their decision, it made sense. Who can’t drive through a tiny bit of slush on the roads? The drivers in Charlotte - that’s who!

Driving through a snowstorm takes skill and I had plenty of practice living in Maryland. During the winter I was sixteen and driving, my Dad, who made a living at driving, took me to a large, empty parking lot on a Sunday morning during a snowstorm. The soft, fluffy kind of snow was blinding, but I drove that 64 Chevy Impala with Dad next to me in the passenger seat. Oh, I was trembling with fear as I plowed my way through six inches of powder. He told me to “gun it”. Woo hoo! I felt the frightening loss of control – rubber on ice without chains - and learned the correction. Over and over again. Spinning, braking, plowing through icy dust with so much play in that steering wheel… it was twice the size of the steering wheels in cars today but the Chevy Impala was, too. After we made it home safely, I learned he had loaded the trunk with kitty litter and a shovel. Smart man. He taught me well.


By mid-morning, our two inches of wet snow was melting quickly.

On the way home, I stopped to admire this snowman, made with little snow. The children and adults must have worked so hard…and played so hard…oh, how I remember “snow days” and the joy. Children here don't have snow memories like mine. After all, I compromised my life on icy hills with a well oiled and sharpened Flexible Flyer!


At home the birds were frantic! The feeders were bone dry and they waited for me and watched.


They knew I’d be there, filling, filling, filling, until their hearts were warm. Seemed like hundreds were there in high volume, in a wild bird frenzy.

More snow tomorrow…stay tuned. I found my boots and gloves but I can’t find my ugly hat.


Our new class of police recruits started their semester-long journey on Monday. The class of eighteen on Monday is now sixteen. One male recruit packed up and left after lunch on day one. A female recruit packed up the following morning.

It’s a physically weak class.


This photo was taken on Monday during their first formation. I would love to know their thoughts while listening to Sgt. Moore. He’ll mold them into fine officers if they grow strong in mind and body.

Do you remember Johnson? She failed out academically more than half way through her training last semester because she had outside circumstances to work through. When cadets fail, they leave quickly and quietly and I was sad about it. After her fellow cadets graduated on December 4th, she came to see me before she registered for the Spring semester. I didn’t recognize this woman who had shed many pounds and looked just wonderful. We hugged. She remembered my whisper, “Go Johnson…” and thanked me.

She’s back. Better than ever. To do it all over again. Does she look determined, or what? I think...she's gonna...WIN!